Or, How Many Lives Does a Beagle Have?
When we picked up Harley and Scooter at the Humane Society, we filled out a form they give you to make sure you are competent, loving, responsible and so on. It was kind of a long form, with some difficult questions. (Reminded one of us of the form that Arlo Guthrie had to fill out while sitting on the Group W bench.)
One of the questions on the form had to do with how much money you expected to spend in the first year on the pet you were hoping to adopt. Fair question. People should know that pets cost money. Beyond food and regular vet visits, shots, toys and stuff, there are unexpected costs. If you adopt a dog thinking you are only paying a few bucks a week for dry dog food, you may not be ready for all that living with a pet involves.
Not being wealthy people, and having just had an older beagle (the famous Gus) that was
sort of easy going–while on the other hand knowing that beagles are a handful–we answered somewhat liberally (we thought) with something like $1500 for the first year.
You can see where this is going.
Suzanne and I very quickly learned both the number and website for ASPCA poison control. (They are available 24 hours a day.)
We learned how to mix peroxide and water, and how much, and how to get the dogs to consume it (dogs will eat almost anything to get to peanut butter.) We even got the opportunity to weigh about a pound of regurgitated grapes to see how many might be still in their system after applying the above remedy.
After several expensive-to-VERY–expensive trips to the emergency vet, Suzanne and I noticed that one of the vets at the emergency clinic (the beagles, of course, seemed to have a way of getting in more trouble on the weekend) looks a little like Tobey McGuire. Well, if you can’t have a little gallows humor when you’re looking at not being able to afford that vacation you so badly need in order to take care of the health of a couple of the sweetest creatures on the planet, then you might as well just start crying right now, Mr. or Ms. beagle “owner.”
So, of course, I started teasing Suzanne and the beagles that the dogs were getting sick just so Suzanne (or they) could spend a bit more time with the handsome veterinarian. Now, when they get into trouble we’ll often threaten them with “a visit to Dr. Spiderman.” It doesn’t seem to make any difference to the dogs, they really didn’t want to go to any vet, any time, but it has helped lightened up Suzanne and my outlook a bit.
And, no, ladies and gentlemen, we are not going to tell you which emergency veterinary hospital Tobey McGuire works for. You’ll have to figure that out yourselves. We hope we aren’t back there any time soon to get his autograph, either!